Perhaps you are about to prepare your will, or you need to update the will you created over a decade ago. One of your first tasks is to name, or possibly rename, your executor.
This is an important decision, and there may be several potential candidates for the job.
What your executor will do
Your executor, or personal representative, as he or she is sometimes called, is legally responsible for administering your estate after you pass away. This means paying your final debts and taxes and distributing the assets that remain to your beneficiaries, according to the instructions in your will.
What to look for
The first person you may think of is your spouse, but many do not want to take on the task. There will be considerable paperwork, so if you know of someone who is not intimidated by forms, add this person to your list of candidates. You want someone who is trustworthy and who will know when to ask for help from an attorney, accountant, business appraiser or other professional. You can help your executor by letting him or her know where you keep your important documents. Your will or trust documents, for example, provide information as to how complex the job of settling your estate will be.
Consider age and state of health
Among the potential candidates, who is the best person to ensure the fulfillment of your wishes in the settlement of your estate? Speak with the people on your list and find out how they feel about serving in this position. If you can then narrow the field to two or three, make sure the person you finally select is young and healthy enough that he or she is likely to be around to act on your behalf. Above all, choose someone in whom you have confidence and who will carry out your wishes to the letter after you are gone.